Couple beaten and bound in robbery

KARINA ABADIA
Last updated 05:00 12/12/2012
CCTV Footage, Panmure theft

WANTED: CCTV footage of two men suspected of robbing DK's Mobiles and More in Panmure, Auckland.

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An Auckland couple were "traumatised" when their shop was robbed at knife-point and they were left beaten and bound.

The attack has left Deepak and Monica Kukreja questioning why they moved here from India in May and nervous around their customers. 

The incident unfolded when they were closing up DK's Mobiles and More on Queens Rd, Panmure, about 6.30pm on November 30.

A man walked into the shop asking about a mobile phone. Deepak began showing him a model when another man entered.

The second man created a scene as a diversion. He accused the first man of crashing into his car and asked if he could use the shop phone to contact the police. Deepak obliged and he pretended to make a call.

Meanwhile the other man locked the door and started assaulting Deepak, breaking his glasses and making his nose bleed.

Monica tried to intervene but was instead beaten and kicked in the stomach by the second man. The couple were then tied by the wrists and ankles and left lying in a back office.

"We couldn't believe what was happening. They held a knife up to my face and said if I spoke a word they would murder my husband," Monica said.

"They tied up our wrists and ankles and put tape on our faces. They left us lying in the back office."

Deepak said: "I just hoped they would leave us alive".
 
The men, who appeared to be of Maori or Pacific Island descent, loaded plastic bags with the day's takings as well as most of the stock in the shop, including mobile phones, cigarettes and branded perfumes. They demanded Deepak's keys and took his car, which has since been found.

Deepak managed to break the ties around his ankles after a two-hour ordeal and ran to the nearby Chinese restaurant for help.
 
The robbers were careful to cover their tracks, including taking the shop's security system, Monica said. However, two men were caught on CCTV cameras near the shop earlier in the day and are now being sought by police.

Insurance will replace missing stock but the psychological effects remain.

"We are traumatised," Monica said. "I went to the shop last Tuesday. A customer popped in and I was afraid they might be a robber. I don't know how I will get over this."

The Kukrejas arrived in Auckland on May 13 on a business visa and opened the shop about three months ago.

They chose New Zealand because they thought their son, 14, and daughter, 12, would receive a better education and future here.
 
"We thought New Zealand was a safe country."
 
Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to contact Glen Innes police on 0274967886 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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- Auckland Now

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